Grand National 2021: Date and start time for Aintree race, runners and riders, TV channel and full festival schedule

We’ve had Cheltenham, now all eyes are on the 2021 Grand National. At Aintree this Saturday, 40 runners will be battling for a piece of history, with this year’s event set to be even more special considering it was cancelled in 2020. When is the Grand National? Racing at Aintree begins on Thursday, April 8 […]

Grand National 2021: Date and start time for Aintree race, runners and riders, TV channel and full festival schedule

We’ve had Cheltenham, now all eyes are on the 2021 Grand National.

At Aintree this Saturday, 40 runners will be battling for a piece of history, with this year’s event set to be even more special considering it was cancelled in 2020.

The event was cancelled last year, but the Aintree Festival is back on in 2021
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When is the Grand National?

Racing at Aintree begins on Thursday, April 8 at 1.45pm and ends with the National on Saturday, April 10 in 2021.

A UK handicap steeplechase, it is run over four miles 514 yards with horses jumping 30 fences over two laps and is one of seven races on the final day.

The Grand National course has much larger fences than normal. The Chair, Valentine’s Brook, Foinavon, Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn are just some of the famous fences that runners and rider need to navigate in the race.

A total of 40 riders will begin the famous race, which will be screened to millions around the world
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When does it begin?

A total of 40 horses and their jockeys will line-up to go at 5.15pm.

What is the prize?

The prize fund for the Grand National is £1,000,000 which makes it the most valuable jump race in Europe. There will be roughly 600 million people watching in more than 140 countries.

The runners and riders

A final line-up plus four reserves are announced on the morning of Thursday, April 8.

Who will Rachael Blackmore ride?

She was the talk of the town at Cheltenham when she was top jockey and is set to ride Minella Times if he runs at Aintree rather than Monday’s Irish National.

Tiger Roll won back-to-back Nationals in 2018 and 2019
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Who are the previous winners?

There was no event last year and so a computer simulated event caught the imagination in 2020, which saw Potter Corner win. Profits were then donated to NHS charities.

Before that, though, Tiger Roll became the first horse to win back-to-back National winners since Red Rum.

Aintree Schedule

It's the biggest race on the calendar and it's live this year

THURSDAY

1.45pm: The Merseyrail Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

2.20pm: The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grand 1)

2.50pm: The Betway Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

3.25pm: The Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)

4.05pm: The Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2)

4.40pm: The Betway Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)

5.15pm: The Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)

FRIDAY

1.40pm: The Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

2.20pm: The Crabbie’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

2.50pm: The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

3.25pm: The JLT Melling Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

4.05pm: The Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase (Grade 3)

4.40pm: The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

5.15pm: The Weatherbys Champion Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)

SATURDAY

1.45pm: The Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

2.25pm: The Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

3pm: The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

3.40pm: The Betway Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed)

4.20pm: The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (Registered as the Liverpool Hurdle) (Grade 1)

5.15pm: The Randox Health Grand National Steeple Chase (Grade 3)

6.15pm: The Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (cond’ and amat’) (Class 2)